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Lilo & Stitch
DVD disk
Oct 6, 2004 By: The Shootin Surgeon
Lilo & Stitch order
Director:
Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders

Actors:
Chris Sanders
Daveigh Chase
Tia Carrere

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Stitch, a destructive little alien escapes from his planet and ends up un the arms of Lilo, a young Hawaiian orphan in the care of her sister. When the child protection office comes to run a check on the family and finds the sister jobless and the little monster masquerading as a dog that chews on everything he finds, a fun little animated film with some great music and a lot of laughs ensues.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I was looking forward to watching this having heard a lot of great word of mouth about it but I had no idea what it was about or what Elvis had to do with it. On both counts, I wasn't disappointed. Leave it to Disney to come up with yet another bright and original idea for the whole family to have fun, kids and grown-ups alike. Lilo & Stitch is a quick, non-stop ride into the surf of Hawaii in the company of some loveable characters and some funny aliens. Stitch is the star of the film and despite his insatiable appetite for destruction, he's quite adorable (if a six-legged freak is your thing, of course) and while we're on the topic of adorable, we can't go by without mentioning little Lilo, voiced by young Daveigh Chase who does a great job of making the kid sound not only cute but smart and witty as well. Some stars also stop by to voice some characters. Ving Rhames is the terrifying and yet kind-hearted child protection agent Cobra Bubbles, the stunning Tia Carrere chimes in as Lilo's older sister Nani and others, including Jason Scott Lee and David Ogden Stiers also chip in with some worthy voice-overs.

The movie also boasts a pretty unique animation style which keeps the usual high standards of Disney and yet is quite different. If you've seen most of the studio's previous features, you'll recognize that immediately in the shapes of the characters, especially the women who leave behind the statuesque shapes of Belle and Ariel to adopt a more down-to-earth look. Some great-looking aliens are also thrown into the mix and if you pay close attention to the chase sequence towards the end of the film, you'll have a chance to be amazed by some dazzling work. Another of the great appeals of the film is its fantastic use of the King's music. Both some original tracks and some remakes are included and they all make for a fun ride down the Hawaii coastline so if you feel like having a blast for 80 minutes, pop this sucker into your DVD player and let the King rock you while Stitch chews up the scenery (literally)!
THE EXTRAS
There's enough on this to keep you pretty busy for about an hour although admittedly, none of the stuff will really blow you out of the water.

to begin with, we get a feature called DisneyPedia, in which the youngsters will be able to learn a bit more about the Hawaiian Islands by clicking on pictures of each one of them. It doesn't go into extreme detail but it's a good start nonetheless. Next up, a game in which you can create your own alien experiment lets you answer trivia questions about both the film and Hawaii in order to assemble all the ingredients to build your own genetic alien freak. In keeping with the Disney motif, you can then move on to "A Stitch in Time" which chronicles some of the promotional efforts for the film which consisted of introducing Stitch in some of Disney's classic cartoons such as Peter Pan, Snow White and more.

Next up is a set of features concentrating on the arts and traditions of Hawaii, beginning with a Hula Lesson in which we not only learn more about the seductive dance but also about its importance in the Hawaiian consciousness. We also get to listen to a Hawaiian children's choir in "Young Voices of Hawaii" as they perform one of the musical pieces in the film.

Two Elvis-based featurettes are available next, starting with the recording of "Burning Love" by Wynonna (formerly know as Wynonna Judd). I always found her a bit weird but she sure can belt tunes out with the best of 'em. Following that is a sacrilegious performance of "Can't Help Falling in Love" by kiddy band the A*Teens. May God have mercy on their souls.

Three features of the making-of type are next with "The look of Lilo & Stitch", "Animating the Hula" and "On location with the directors". The first two concentrate on animation techniques and ideas while the third is sort of just following the directors around while they work. Three deleted scenes follow.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I had a lot of fun watching this movie and don't doubt that anyone else wouldn't either. This would make a great little present for the kids but the older folks will also get a kick out of it just like I did. It's too bad the extras are numerous but pretty passable as far as content goes. Nonetheless, this is great fun and wouldn't look out of place in anyone's collection. A definite rental at least.
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